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Anand ends joint fifth

Dubai: Viswanathan Anand had to be content with a joint-fifth finish even as reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen scripted history by winning the World Blitz Championship that concluded here.

Anand, starting the day on 7.5 points from the first 11 games, scored another six points out of last 10 to end on 13.5 points in all which was good enough for the joint fifth place. The five-time world champion finished seventh overall when the tie was resolved.

After winning the world rapid, Carlsen became the first chess player ever to hold three world championship crowns as he handsomely won the blitz title too with a remarkable 17 points.

Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia gave Carlsen a tough fight in the race, but eventually he and Hikaru Nakamura of United States tied for the second spot a full point behind Carlsen.

For the records, Nepomniachtchi won the silver while the bronze went to Nakamura who started as the top seed in the championship.

Le Quang Liem of Vietnam finished sole fourth on 14 points and it was a four-way tie for the fifth spot in which Anand figured alongside Azerbaijani duo of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Rauf Mamedov and Levon Aronian of Armenia.

Anand remained close but not enough to stake his claim for a podium finish. The final day started well for the Indian as he beat compatriot P. Harikrishna, drew with Carlsen and then beat Georg Meier of Germany to notch 2.5 points from the first three games.